The Academic Magnet boys soccer team will appear in the Class AA Lower State championship game for the third time in as many seasons.
Keyed by Jonathan Glenn’s two goals, the Raptors dispatched Silver Bluff, 5-0, Saturday afternoon in third-round playoff action.
Bishop England will visit Ravenel Stadium on Tuesday in what will be a rematch of the 2011 Lower State title contest, won by the Bishops, 1-0.
“It’s always a difficult proposition to beat the same team three times in the same year,” said 10th-year Academic Magnet coach Jason Hamil, whose squad recorded a pair of 3-2 victories over Bishop England in the regular season, the first of which was decided by penalty kicks. “We have a veteran-led team, so I think they will respond to that challenge.”
While most of the game was played in the Bulldogs’ end, Silver Bluff, the No. 4 seed, sustained the pressure until the 26th minute, when Glenn scored from close range. The Boston University signee’s goal was the first allowed by either team in the playoffs.
Comfortable with his squad’s defensive structure, Hamil moved senior Wyatt Ball from the backline into the midfield. The move paid off five minutes before halftime as Ball accelerated past a Bulldogs defender and found the far corner of the net with the outside of his foot.
The top-seeded Raptors (15-3) scored three goals after halftime, beginning with Matt Houle’s 45th-minute tally. Glenn followed with his second of the day in the 64th minute before Zach Reineke converted a penalty kick in the 75th.
Junior goalkeeper Brady Allardice earned the shutout as the defending state champions have outscored opponents by a 20-0 margin in the playoffs.
“Being in the playoffs is always an honor,” said Hamil. “It was an honor to be the No. 1 seed for the second year in a row. But for us, it’s a business trip. Tuesday night is business. It’s great to be here, but the job’s not done.”
Goals: AM—Glenn 2, Ball, Houle, Reineke. Records: AM 15-3. Silver Bluff 13-3. Next: Academic Magnet hosts Bishop England Tuesday in the Class AAA Lower State championship.